PACKING — FOR ETERNITY

Last Tuesday would have been my dad’s 80th birthday. Robbie and I started the day off right. Before I even got him up, we lay there singing and playing on the harmonica some of Grandpa’s favorite songs, as well as “Happy Birthday” which is Robbie’s least favorite song. He tolerated it, anyway, for Grandpa’s sake. I showed him Grandpa’s picture and we talked about some of the funny things Grandpa used to say to Robbie. I asked him, “Do you remember that, Robbie? Do you remember Grandpa?” Robbie didn’t answer, of course, but he grinned from ear to ear! I know he remembers his grandpa.
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Later that morning my mom, Corinne and I went out to the cemetery. We stood by my father’s grave, and oh, how we laughed! We reminisced about some of the funny things Dad would say or do, and brought out some of our favorite memories. We talked about Heaven and how Dad must be enjoying it and waiting for us to join him so that he can show us around and introduce us to the twins and others who have gone before us. It was a comforting, peaceful, happy time for we know where Dad is and that he is better and happier than he ever was here on earth.
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Heaven’s been on my mind all week. A friend of ours is living her last few days right now, and the doctors say she will be gone in less than a week. Her family has asked Bob to preach the funeral when the time comes. She knows, and is prepared. She trusted Christ as her Savior many years ago, and has faithfully served Him all these years. She is looking forward to Heaven and seeing Jesus and her husband, as well, who preceded her to eternity many years ago.
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It’s been a busy week in many ways. I started packing for my trip to Ecuador which is now 12 days, 19 hours and 37 minutes away. Just packing is a big job in itself, for I am taking much more than my own clothes and toiletries. Laurie and Fernando had a shopping list for me; others have given me things to take for the family; there are supplies for the ministry; and Christmas gifts and little surprises for the kids. Anything that is new must be removed from its packaging and have the tags cut off. I need to have all the receipts handy, though, in case they try to charge me duty so that I can prove what I paid and not be over-charged. The hand-me-down clothes for Matthew must be put in space bags and condensed so that they don’t take up so much room. I need to distribute things evenly in my suitcases as far as weight, and also so that the seven dozen of each of the goodie bag “goodies” I am taking to give out to poor Indian children as gifts don’t look like things being imported to sell.
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Packing is complicated, and as I look over the stacks of “stuff” I am taking, my mind whirls. I can’t help worrying about the weight limitations. I’m pretty sure I’ll have room for everything, but surely I’m not going to go over the 140 pounds I am allowed – am I? I ponder which things I can leave behind if I have to, and how I can eliminate even more weight. I plan to have my bags packed several days in advance so that Bob can take them somewhere and have them weighed. I don’t want any nasty surprises at the airport!
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It’s hard enough packing for two weeks in another country. I’m so glad I don’t have to worry about packing for an eternity in Heaven! the thought occurs to me one day. We came into this world with nothing; we will leave it with nothing, as well.
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I’m trying to keep my clothes to a minimum, figuring I can wash down there. But still, I need a variety of outfits – and shoes – for a variety of activities. There is only so much cutting down that a girl can do!
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No need to pack clothes for Heaven. Christ has already clothed me in His righteousness and when I get to Heaven He will furnish a white robe for me. ”After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)
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Can’t forget my prescriptions and diabetic supplies, all in their labeled bottles and meeting air transportation requirements. Oh – I need my glasses and contact lens supplies, too!
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No need for any medications or contacts in Eternity! How glorious to have a perfect body with no illness, defects — or fat! “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God… Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:18, 19, 21) I Corinthians 15:51-54 also tells us, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
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I have to think about what I will eat on the journey. I will be traveling from six in the morning until ten-thirty at night. Being diabetic, I need to think ahead and plan what and when I will be able to eat and how I will take my insulin. Only one meal is furnished by the airline. I will have to either pack a lunch with me, or be prepared to buy food in the airports or on the plane.
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No need to worry about food in Heaven! Jesus is preparing a feast for us upon our arrival – the marriage supper of the Lamb. “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb…” (Revelation 19:9) And for all eternity, our every need shall be supplied. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
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Checking off everything on all my lists… Preparing everything to go into the suitcases… Arranging and re-arranging to try to get it all in, in the most efficient and organized way… Hoping and praying I can take it ALL!
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No need to pack a THING for an eternity in Heaven! There is only one thing that I need and that is my TICKET. My ticket, which I cannot hold in my hand or pack in my carry-on, but which is already bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28) “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold… But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (I Peter 1:18,19”
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I may not have finished packing for Ecuador yet, but I’m all packed and ready to go whenever the Lord calls me Home for eternity! My bags are packed with nothing – nothing but my faith in what Christ did on the cross for my salvation! No need to add a thing to that – no good works, no membership in the right church, no correct upbringing or heritage, no wealth, fame, popularity or earthly success.
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Jesus has already done it all and my ticket is stamped “Paid In Full.”
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One thought on “PACKING — FOR ETERNITY

  1. Hi, Cindy! I absolutely hate packing – all those decisions to make! Last time we were at the airport I had an overweight suitcase and had to move stuff from that one to another one right there at the baggage check in. I don't envy you the task of packing for your trip to Ecuador in light of all of the various items you wish to take.I am glad there is nothing to pack for our trip to heaven, and that Jesus did pay it all and provide our way.

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